New Release – The Cupcake Conundrum

They say good things come to those who wait and I have a very sweet treat for those of you who have been patiently waiting for my *ahem* Valentine’s Day book.

The Cupcake Conundrum Cover Final

After Hank Edwards and I finished our respective winter holiday stories set in the Williamsville Inn universe, he mentioned he had an idea for Carter, the best friend of the main character in his book Snowflakes and Song Lyrics. He wanted to write a Valentine’s Day book. I considered the idea of writing one but didn’t immediately have any ideas and I really didn’t have time to add it to my schedule. But then one day, it hit me.

I immediately sent a message to Hank: “Aww crap. I have an idea for a Valentine’s Day story.”
He responded with: “Yay! I mean, ahem, oh no!”
I said, “When Seth and Erik from Snowstorms and Second Chances move in together, Seth’s brother Adrian helps him move from NYC to Philly and he meets Seth’s roommate …”

Off I went with the story. Unfortunately, in January, we both stalled. Hank had things in his life he was dealing with, I had a weird case of writer’s block. While I love Seth’s roommate, Ajay Sunagar, he was a complicated character to write. His parents are from India and he had a complicated relationship with them and with his heritage. As Jay told Adrian in the story, “I straddled this weird line of being too brown and Indian for white people and too white and American for the Desi community.”

I wasn’t sure how to write that. I wanted to do justice to how complicated and multi-layered his relationship with his family and his culture was but I was afraid of messing it up. I think somewhere along the line, I psyched myself out of writing completely, afraid I’d screw it up completely. But connecting with a lovely reader from one of the M/M Facebook groups who pointed me in the direction of where to research and answer questions about what it’s like being Indian-American, I made some progress. I sent it off to Hank for some early feedback, which broke through the rest of the block.

I can’t promise I got every aspect of what it’s like to be a second-generation Indian-American gay man perfectly right, and every individual’s experience varies so widely, but I worked very hard to do my best by Jay. And I love him for all of his snarky, sexy sweetness. Adrian is a lovely character too, a single dad who messed up his first shot at a relationship with Jay and who has to make amends for what he did.

While I’m about three months past the Valentine’s Day released I’d hoped to have, I am very happy with the way The Cupcake Conundrum turned out. Getting Adrian and Jay where they needed to be was tough but in the end, I love how it all came together and I hope you’ll enjoy reading the book as much as I love it now!

TCC Quote 3

Buy The Cupcake Conundrum at Amazon or read free through Kindle Unlimited!

The Cupcake Conundrum blurb:

What could be worse than having to spend a week with the man you ghosted?

When Adrian Cobb arrives in New York to help his brother move, he comes face to face with the biggest mistake of his past—a baking conference hookup he rudely ditched a year ago. Now, he’s sharing a guest room with Ajay Sunagar, who looks as tasty as the pastries he bakes, and Adrian desperately wants to prove he can handle the heat this time.

But Jay makes it clear he isn’t ready to forgive and forget Adrian’s bad behavior. None of Adrian’s repeated apologies seem to make a dent in the walls Jay’s put up and Adrian can’t tell if Jay would rather make him grovel or cover Adrian in frosting and lick him all over. Adrian’s afraid that this time, Jay will be the one to walk away—unless Adrian can find a way to make him believe in second chances.

The Cupcake Conundrum” is a sweet-treat story about a single dad, instant attraction, and falling in love all over again that takes place in the Williamsville Inn series world. It features characters from Brigham Vaughn’s Snowstorms and Second Chances, along with Snowflakes and Song Lyrics and The Cupid Crawl by Hank Edwards.

 


Excerpt from The Cupcake Conundrum:

“Jay?” Adrian said hoarsely.

“Adrian.” The blood had drained from Jay’s face, making his normally rich brown skin tone look almost chalky. But he looked every bit as handsome as he had when Adrian had first seen him a little over a year ago.

“Wait, you two know each other?” Seth’s voice snapped Adrian out of the daze he’d been immersed in.

“Yeah, you could say that,” Jay said. His jaw was clenched and he’d gone completely stone-faced. The warm brown eyes Adrian had loved looking into as Jay fucked him sent an icy shiver down his back now. Double shit.

“What? How?” Seth asked.

“The baking expo!” Adrian blurted out. Seth blinked at his loud tone, and Adrian winced, then cleared his throat. “You remember that international baking expo I went to last year?”

“Here in New York? Yeah. I was mad because you said you were going to visit me while you were here but you punked out on me.”

Adrian had punked out on him because he’d been in bed with Jay. He just hadn’t mentioned that part to his brother. He’d never mentioned Jay at all until today.

“Yeah, you’ll apparently never let me forget it either.”

“Nope. But so … what does that have to do with Jay?” Seth’s puzzled expression smoothed out. “Oh, you met there, huh? Well, that makes sense. Cool. What a small world!”

“Yeah, sure is,” Jay said with a scowl as he brushed past.

Grab your copy of The Cupcake Conundrum now!

And please, once you finish reading, take a few moments to review on Amazon, Goodreads, and/or BookBub! Every review is deeply appreciated.

Flash Fiction Monday – Lights, Camera, Valentine’s Day?

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Lights, Camera, Valentine’s Day?

Boyce sat up as he mimed taking a bite of the chocolate covered strawberry offered by the guy straddling him.  Shoots like this were always tedious and the Valentine’s Day vomit around him didn’t help.  Silk rose petals, a cheesy stuffed bear, and more tacky decorations than he could shake … well, his dick at.  Gross.  Who the fuck made Valentine’s Day porn anyway?  Well, he knew who made it—apparently he did, when offered enough money—but who the fuck watched it? Barf.

Still, the paycheck was nothing to sneer at.  Boyce dutifully ran his tongue along the tip of the strawberry and tried to look sexy.  Jamison leaned in and kissed Boyce, working his way from Boyce’s lips to his ear.  “At least try to look like you’re into this,” he hissed.  “I don’t want to be here either, but the faster we get this over the faster we can go home.”

It took about twelve seconds for Boyce to process that and decide Jamison was a hell of a lot smarter than he looked.  He could work with someone who wasn’t eating up this fake romance crap any more than he was.

He threw himself into the scene and, hours later, when his whole body ached and he was covered in lube and sweat, Jamison’s words kept him going.  Right until the very end when the director finally called out “cut” and he and Jamison finally trudged to the showers to clean up.

“Well, we’re not out as early as I’d hoped,” Jamison said a while later as he lathered his underarms with the surprisingly unsexy choice of Irish Spring soap.  “But thanks for playing along, Boyce.”

“No prob.”  He soaped his balls and glanced up at the guy in the shower next to him.  “It’s, uh, Brad, actually.”

“No shit?”  Jamison grinned.  “Mine’s Melvin.”

He snorted.  “Melvin? No wonder you changed it.”

“It’s a family name.”  Melvin turned off the shower.

“Shit, sorry.”  Brad rinsed and did the same.

“It’s cool.  Not sexy enough for porn but my friends call me Mel.  So can you.” His grin was crooked.  “After all, your dick’s been in my ass …”

Brad grinned back and toweled off.  “There is that.”

The made small talk as they dressed and it wasn’t until they were on the sidewalk in front of the studio that Brad remembered to thank him.  “Really couldn’t have made it through this without your encouragement.  I owe you.”

“How about a date as repayment?” Jamison—no, Melvin—replied.

“I’d like that.”

Three hours later when they reluctantly left the restaurant, Mel turned to Bradley.  “Wanna come home with me tonight?”

“Not sure my ass is up to it.”

“I was thinking maybe we’d just sleep.”

“Sounds good.” Brad took his hand and felt a new fondness for Valentine’s Day.  If things with Mel were still going well in a couple of months when it rolled around, he might even splurge on some chocolate covered strawberries and feed them to Mel.  Without the cameras rolling.  And no stuffed bears anywhere.

 

 


I’ve had this picture for quite a while now (long before Helena asked me if I wanted to write flash fics with her) and the whole time I knew there had to be more to the explosion of Valentine’s Day decorations.  I liked the idea of one of the guys being rather anti-Valentine’s Day and just playing along for the cameras.  Hope you enjoyed it!

We have several new authors joining us this week, so be sure to visit the Facebook group and look for the links to all of the stories there!

And be sure to come back next Monday for the next round of flash fics.  I can’t wait to see you there!

 

 

 

Valentine’s Day Giveaway

Red hearts

Some people love Valentine’s Day, others absolutely loathe it.  Me? I’m somewhere in the middle.  I like spending the day with my husband, but we focus more on what we do together than what we buy each other.  There are years we’ve splurged and bought each other gifts, but there’s never the expectation that we have to spend a lot of money on each other. This year, with a new roof for our house in the near future, we decided to keep it simple.  We’re doing a 90 minute couples yoga class, getting takeout sushi, and settling in for an evening of Scrabble.  No, that’s not a euphemism, we really ARE planning to play Scrabble.  We even upgraded our board to a nicer one since we’ve been playing so much lately.

Oh, and don’t tell Mr. Vaughn, but I made chocolate chip cookie dough last night so I can make ice cream sandwiches for a special treat.  Why those?  No idea, they just sounded good.  Probably not a traditional pairing with sushi, but I have yet to see the man turn down anything with chocolate in it in the last ten years so I’m pretty sure it’ll go over well.  😀  T he real question is, what kind of ice cream should I use?  Vanilla? Coffee? Salted caramel?

Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandiwch

While I don’t disagree with the people who say Valentine’s Day is just a made-up, commercialized holiday, I think it can be whatever you make of it.  I usually send cards (mostly virtual these days) to the people I care about.  Because there are a lot of people I love in a non-romantic way too.  After all, not everyone has or wants romantic love in their life.  But I think everyone likes to know that someone is thinking about them. So, this Valentine’s Day, why not take the time to show your appreciation for all of the people you care about?

BrighamVaughn

The wonderful Meredith King did just that.  She put together an amazing giveaway on the Diverse Reader blog.  She pulled together eighteen authors who will each be giving away a story of theirs to celebrate Valentine’s Day.  I am incredibly flattered that she included me in the giveaway, especially alongside so many phenomenally talented authors. And I want my readers to know how much I appreciate them!

See the blog for the full details, but basically all you have to do is enter the rafflecopter on the giveaway post and on February 14th you will be paired up with an author to receive ONE of their ebooks (your choice).  The giveaway is winding down so hurry over to her blog and enter!

And have a lovely Valentine’s Day, however you choose to celebrate it (or not).